Top End Experiences and Activities

At Finniss River Lodge experience hiking, 4WDriving, air boating, wildlife, birdwatching, fishing, Aboriginal tours,
and helicopter flights with Australia’s best guides
At Finniss River Lodge experience hiking, 4WDriving, air boating, wildlife, birdwatching, fishing, Aboriginal tours, and helicopter flights with Australia’s best guides

Opional Activities

Tess Atie, indigenous guide, Litchfield National Park (credit Greg Balding)

On Site

Your stay at Finniss River Lodge includes two guided, on-property outings daily – one in the early morning and one in the afternoon to allow guests time to enjoy the Lodge during the middle of the day. Dry season mornings are often characterised by heavy fog which makes for spectacular photographic opportunities, and the warm glow of a Top End sunset is the perfect way to end a day of adventure. This is big sky country, where you can cast your vision for endless miles.

Leaving the Lodge in the comfort of a Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or open buggy, your guide will tailor activities to suit the season, conditions and special features of the property as well as guests’ interests. All Finniss River Lodge guides are rigorously trained and are adept at peeling back the many layers of the outback and exposing its secrets.

You may like to take a gentle (or energetic) hike with your guide or sit quietly and see how many of the station’s hundred plus bird species you can spot. Or perhaps a unique and unscripted adventure is more your speed. Learn to track wildlife or make fire from scratch. Set a trap for mud crabs or source local plant foods the chef has requested for dinner. This is touring with purpose, and you might get your hands dirty! These bush survival skills will have you looking at your environment in a whole new way.

Every outing is different! Enjoy a morning walk along the edge of a granite escarpment, keeping an eye and ear out for rare birds. Tread a path with remnant rainforest on one side and paperbark swamp on the other, track and record wildlife around a lush lagoon, gaze upon magnetic termite mounds or climb Quartz Hill for a spectacular sunset. Finniss River Station boasts an incredible diversity of bird and wildlife, in a varied and ever-changing landscape. Your guide’s passion and deep knowledge will unlock the mysteries of this special place and elevate your experiences to extraordinary. Private on-property touring can be booked on request (at additional cost and subject to availability).

“Cows and Canapes” is a truly unique way to end the day. Sip sundowners in an open-sided buggy as curious brahman cattle surround you, grazing, swishing their tails and regarding you with soft, brown eyes. Peaceful and meditative, it’s the perfect way to experience sunset!

Spend time with the Station owners or one of the workers, and learn about life on a Top End pastoral lease. You may be fortunate enough to take part in station activities, whether pushing a mob of cattle through a floodplain, watching drafting or seeing cattle in the yards. More than a business, this is a family that truly loves what they do, and this can be seen in their livestock. (Station activities cannot be pre-booked or guaranteed, and are subject to seasonality and availability).

Keep an eye out for a special-interest itineraries, such as photographic tours, birdwatching tours, art tours, cooking tours and more.

Air Boat available at Finniss River Lodge Experience On Site

Air Boating

A stay of 3 nights or more includes a 50-minute shared airboat ride on a spectacular stretch of the Finniss River, where crocodiles have staked out each lagoon. Board your air boat (a 10-minute drive from the lodge). Skim through forested waters as the airboat hugs each bend, and learn all about the fauna that inhabit these environments from barramundi to brolgas and of course the enduring prehistoric salt water crocodile. In wetter months, weave your way through narrow waterways that open out onto vast floodplains, scattering a cloud of birdlife. This experience is rich in photo opportunities.

The air boats have a capacity of 4 or 12 guests.

Optional Activities

Must be pre-booked and pre-paid to guarantee availability

This diverse landscape lends itself perfectly to scenic helicopter flights. Taking off from the Lodge you will fly over the 50,000-acre Finniss River Station to Five Mile Beach and the mouth of the Finniss River. Hover over pockets of ancient rainforest, admire the palette in coastal cliffs, and circle a field of towering termite mounds. Spot large flocks of magpie geese and brolgas, swoop low over buffalo and see crocodiles warming themselves on the river banks. This is a photographer’s paradise!

Take a 20 minute heli flight from the Lodge to Litchfield National Park, and land at remote Sandy Creek above Tjaynera Falls. Experience the thrill as your pilot manoeuvres the heli onto a rocky platform right beside crystal clear waters. With no-one else around, this is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim and picnic lunch. This trip can be combined with a ground tour with Indigenous guide, Tess Atie, or a flight to Crab Claw Island Resort to join a fishing charter on Bynoe Harbour (National Parks require at least 7 days’ notice to grant a landing permit for Sandy Creek, so it is essential to pre-book. Booking even earlier will help guarantee availability).

We highly recommend pre-booking a full hour of heli flying time to add a whole new perspective to your Finniss River Lodge stay.

Meet Marrathiel woman, Tess Atie, and explore the Indigenous culture of Param country set against a backdrop of dramatic waterfalls and rugged woodland. No subject is off-limits for this bright, passionate ambassador for reconciliation. With years of experience as a guide and ranger, Tess recounts the stories of her people with warmth and candour, and is sure to leave you feeling inspired and uplifted.

Tess grew up on country that is now Litchfield National Park and will share the region’s pioneer history and rich Aboriginal tradition. Get hands on as she reveals a deep understanding of bush foods and resources that has been passed down through generations.

Litchfield is a 20 minute helicopter flight from Finniss River Lodge and Tess’s tour can be combined with a landing at remote Sandy Creek for a swim and picnic lunch.

Take a charter on a high-speed fishing vessel to troll for elusive barramundi in the mangrove-lined inlets of Bynoe Harbour, head out to sea for jewfish, GT and snapper, or haul in a freshwater barra on the picturesque Finniss River.

Finniss River Lodge’s location leaves you spoilt for choice depending on the season, conditions and your angling interests. Boat ramps for river, harbour and bluewater fishing are within 20 minutes’ drive of the Lodge.

Half or full day fishing charters are available and include top quality equipment. Your vessel pulls up right in front of Crab Claw Island Resort’s open-sided restaurant where lunch is served overlooking the water. Your expert fishing guide will make suggestions to get the most out of the day, and may include a combination of sites such as Bynoe Harbour and freshwater Finniss River.

Half day fishing charters can be combined with a swim and picnic lunch at Sandy Creek or tour with Indigenous guide Tess Atie, all linked by spectacular heli flight between Litchfield National Park and Crab Claw Island Resort.

Please note there are no bathroom or toilet facilities on the fishing vessel.

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This document is not ready yet, but will be available very soon.
The Lodge opening date is expected to be May 2022.

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